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New Year brings new look to Preston city centre

Work begins next week on the latest stage of improvement work in Preston, to create a more welcoming and attractive city centre.

This will include new pavements, lighting, benches, bins and a new road surface. Once finished, the improvements will run alongside some of the city’s most well-known buildings including the Guild Hall, the Harris Museum and Library and the Town Hall.

This latest stage of improvement work includes parts of Lancaster Road, Jacson Street, Lord Street and a section of Tithebarn Street. It links to the previous improvement work on Fishergate and Church Street, and will be done in a similar style.

From Monday 8 January through to April, a temporary road layout will be in place in this area. Lord Street, at the side of the Guild Hall will be closed to vehicles and Tithebarn Street will close from Crooked Lane.

The one-way restriction on Lancaster Road will be temporarily reversed during this work, with vehicles able to travel from Old Vicarage towards the Guild Hall. The bus and taxi-only section in front of the Guild Hall will also be temporarily removed during this work with all drivers able to travel towards Church Street.

The Guild Hall and other local businesses have been consulted as part of these plans.

Bus stops on Lancaster Road directly outside the town hall and at the top of the market will be closed as part of this work. When they close, signs will advise people to access services at the bus station.

Funding for this improvement work has come from the Growth Deal, and as part of Lancashire County Council’s contribution to the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It’s important to provide a welcoming city centre that appeals to businesses and shoppers.

“These latest improvements will bring a similar feel to work done elsewhere in the city centre, which we know have helped to attract new retailers and shoppers.

“Our highways team planned this phase by taking on board comments and feedback on previous improvements and we’ve made some changes. We hope that this will help to improve the experience for everyone who visits this part of the city centre.”

The construction work will be carried out by Lancashire County Council’s own in-house team.

In order to reduce disruption to businesses and the public during this work, it will be carried out in several stages, running through to summer 2019.

Following feedback on the earlier Fishergate and Church St improvements, changes have been made to some aspects of the design.

The materials used for the road surface have been changed, to distinguish it more clearly from the pavement, which will be made using similar materials to those used in other city centre improvements.

There will continue to be a clear distinction between the road and a clearly defined pavement – as there is on Church Street and Fishergate. The kerb height will increase slightly compared to Fishergate – to help people to distinguish between the two.

Specific taxi and delivery bays will be created with road surfaces, rather than on the pavement, to reduce the chance of damage or spills on the pavement.

Councillor Peter Moss, cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said: “The next phase of improvement works are very welcome to complete the overall look of the main thoroughfares in Preston.

“An attractive city centre is essential to bring in visitors and future investment, and will be yet one more successful element of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.”

The stone flags outside the Town Hall and Harris Museum & Library will remain. The flags outside the Miller Arcade will be taken up and reused to repair damaged ones outside the other two buildings, to maintain the appearance of the civic quarter.

People with questions about the work can find out more by calling 0300 123 6780 or email fishergate@lancashire.gov.uk

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